State of the Union

Watch (and Read) Rand Paul's Full State of the Union Rebuttal Here

'America is adrift'

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Rand Paul
Gage Skidmore

Update: You can watch Sen. Rand Paul's speech on Youtube. Video is embedded below.

The full text of Sen. Rand Paul's response to the president's State of the Union address is now available—in advance of him actually giving the speech. Here it is, via Breitbart:

Good evening. I wish I had better news for you, but… All is not well in America. America is adrift. Something is clearly wrong.

America needs many things, but what America desperately needs is new leadership.

I've only been in office a short time, but one thing I've discovered is that there is no monopoly on knowledge in Washington.

The best thing that could happen is for us—to once and for all—limit the terms of all politicians. We already limit the President to two terms.

I think we should put limits on the terms of Congress and infuse our government with fresh ideas.

Before I ran for office, I practiced medicine for nearly 20 years in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Liberal elites fly over my small town, but they don't understand us. They simply seek to impose their will upon us—from what insurance we can buy, to what light bulbs we can use, to how we generate electricity.

Most of us in flyover country, and I suspect many who live in our big cities, think those in government take us for granted. Those of us who are actively pursuing the American Dream simply want government to get out of our way.

For those of us who feel separated and distant from the American Dream, we don't want be perpetually talked down to, forgotten, and left in perpetual poverty. Many are discouraged that the "gifts" offered by liberals have not generated wealth, but rather perpetuated poverty.

People want a way out—not fake concern and baubles.

The war on poverty is 50 years old, and still black unemployment is twice that of white unemployment.

Go to Breitbart to read the rest.

NEXT: Libertarian Party on Obama's State of the Union

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  1. Term limits are a solution to a problem this country doesn’t have. Why does Rand Paul want to restrict freedom for no purpose?

    1. The country doesn’t have a problem with entrenched incumbents adopting bad policies?

      1. Nope. I can’t even name one lifetime politician who has now stolen millions from tax payers through cronyism, so I won’t name even one (Diane Feinstein).

      2. Just think of the savings because the printing office doesn’t have to update the stationery!

    2. What do you call a politician who needs more than eight years to get anything meaningful done?

      An incumbent.

      1. People should be free to vote for an experienced candidate if they wish to.

        1. End cronyism and that’s ok. Agreed?

          1. End Republican lip service to the pointless idiot magnet that is term limits, and we’ll have solved a nonproblem about a nonproblem.

            1. You didn’t answer the question. Ending rhetoric will solve nothing.

              Let’s make cronyism illegal. What you say, oh champion of the little people?

              Don’t let me make you look stupid without even trying.

              1. I am for extreme restrictions on corruption. Far more than you. Tell me again about how unlimited political bribery is a sacred constitutional right.

                1. No, you’re not. You can’t even say that cronyism should be illegal.

                  Can you say cognitive dissonance, Tony?

                  Tell me again about how unlimited political bribery is a sacred constitutional right

                  Take your meds before you start puking and pass out, Tony Baloney.

                2. So bribery = promoting any idea you disagree with, I assume? Citizens United means incumbents can’t use state regulation to inhibit campaigning for causes they disapprove of. My, how terrible.

                  And btw, most “anti-corruption” measures these days seem to have the sole effect of making things more expensive. Mandatory lowest bidder rules mean you pay 10% less to get a product that lasts half as long.

                  Of course, there’s also the corruption that comes when a group can force everyone in their industry to pay them protection or lose their job, and everyone has to leave work when ordered. I believe they call that form of racketeering the labor union, heard of it?

                3. I am for extreme restrictions on corruption.

                  So, are you claiming that you didn’t vote for that Chicago machine apparatchik who currently takes up space in the oval office?

                  -jcr

          2. Do you honestly think that any measure taken to end corruption will work without that system eventually becoming corrupt? We’re talking about power seekers. If you don’t want a corrupt government, then abolish government. Otherwise, we must live with an acceptable amount of corruption. Every government that ever existed and ever will exist has been and is at its core, a plutocracy, because nothing can get done without money. With money comes the love of money, and corruption. It’s inherent in the system.

        2. Lifetime tenure term length is the only way to ensure qualified professors politicians will be hired.

        3. Are you experienced?

          Have you ever been experienced?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK8N6DjJccc

        4. “People should be free to vote for an experienced candidate if they wish to.”

          Translation:
          Democracy = freedom
          experienced candidate = professional politician

          Notice Tony didn’t say “for any candidate they wish.”

          Almost all candidates for higher office have been vetted by the political class before they are offered up to the people from the major parties.

          We aren’t given the opportunity to vote for none of the above and I bet Tony would not approve of such a choice being offered to voters.

        5. They can vote for whomever they like. It’s a question as to whether that person can take office or not.

        6. You are correct. If a candidate can get the votes that candidate should be allowed to be elected to their state’s legislative body, mayor and city level positions, gubernatorial positions and state executive positions, sheriff and other county positions, a couple of terms in the federal House of Reps, a term or two as a Senator, and president.

          Hell, if the old bat is still around after 4 terms in the House, 2 in the Senate, 2 in the Oval Office, for a total of 28 years in public office (not including any time spent at the state or local level) I am OK with this individual going back to the House of Reps, at minimum age 53.

          … Also, Tony, did you just advocate for the possibility of President for Life? You would be OKAY with George W. getting ready for his 5th term in 2016? I mean, I know you wouldn’t vote for the chump, but if he could get the votes, you would be okay with that, since “People should be free to vote for an experienced candidate if they wish to.”

          1. I think we’re mostly safe from presidents running for more than two terms, but I’d have to say yes. That’s why they call it a principle.

            1. Thanks, Tony. I do, in fact, understand the concept of principles. While I appreciate your response, you needn’t talk down to me, there is no reason to be rude or condescending.

              Would you mind responding to my first concern? Is it really an issue if we allow 4 terms in the house, 2 in the senate, 2 in the Oval Office, plus whatever state/city a candidate can drum up? And I offer 4 in the house to carry the elected official from 25 to past 30, minimum age for Senate.

              This would carry an elected official, at youngest possible age, from 25 to 53. This individual can be consistently elected by his or her constituients.

              Do you see this as a genuine concern for anybody other than an elected official amassing power over a very long career?

              Please advise.

    3. “restrict freedom”.

      Words mean things.

      1. No no, language is constantly evolving. Use this argument and you can make words mean whatever you want them to.

    4. Term limits are a solution to a problem this country doesn’t have.

      If the country can manage by limiting the chief executive to two terms, it will likely survive irrespective of whether the legislative and even the judiciary is term-limited.

      Having fossils like Strom Thurmond, Ted Kennedy, Jesse Helms, Robert Byrd, Pat Schroeder, Tom Harkin, and Paul’s co-Senator Mitch McConnell in for decades hasn’t done anything at this point other than create political sclerosis.

      1. I oppose term limits for presidents too. Unless you think the American people are too immature not to choose their president for themselves. Which is sadly not a point without some merit. It is telling that the country’s greatest president was elected four times, and term limits imposed in retaliation.

        It’s really the principle of the thing. It is a restriction on democratic freedom. There are good arguments for doing that for some purposes. I just don’t think this has any in its favor. Besides, there’s only so long a person can be president before totally burning out, surely.

        1. Greatest predident?!! My you have got to be shitting me, what a riot!!! FDR, greatest president!! Ha, thanks Tony you made my week.

          A bona fide fascist takes control the economy, hands it over to cartels to drive up prices (‘for fear of teh evil deflationz’), starve the poor, leads the US out of one depression into another, tries to eviscerate the Supreme Court (worst offense to the integrity of the separation of powers in history), and best of all, sends hundreds of thousands of innocent people to concentration camps. Best president ever!

          Seriously Tony, you’re make things fun. Best president ever, ah, my God, he was worse than Bush.

        2. Why not just elect a benevolent dictator?

        3. I agree with tony. And weren’t term limits for the president, kind of late anyway? Thank Shiva, for finally killing that bastard!

        4. You mean the guy who said, “I wrote Haiti’s Constitution myself, and if I do say it, it was a pretty good little Constitution.”

          And just happened to replace a independent black republic with a mulatto government dominated by the US.

        5. Really, we should just build an impartial robot overlord

          1. I, for one, would welcome our new robot overlord.

            1. Barada Nikto!

        6. It is a restriction on democratic freedom.

          The Constitution itself is a restriction on democratic freedom. If you want a dictatorship of the proletariat, there’s plenty of states trying to implement those experiments besides the one in which you continue to subject yourself.

          1. “Democratic freedom” is an oxymoron. If I’m free, I don’t need majority approval.

        7. Which is sadly not a point without some merit. It is telling that the country’s greatest president was elected four times, and term limits imposed in retaliation.

          Probably because the country realized that rabble-rousing demagogues were more dangerous to the country than stroking the egos of overrated chumps like FDR. The term limits were imposed as an amendment, after all, which requires that “democratic freedom” you meaninglessly quote to pass.

          And let’s not forget that, until FDR came along, Presidents voluntarily exited political life after serving their two terms. But that was an era in which public self-aggrandizement was considered something to avoid rather than pursue. That’s one thing FDR certainly changed about the office–well, that and cluelessly opening the door for communists to influence public policy.

        8. This country was founded on the dual fears of an unfettered executive and an unfettered body politic. We were never meant to be an unrestricted democracy. If that’s what you want then I eagerly anticipate your “Huzzahs” the next time Oklahoma passes legislation almost eliminating abortion access or California popularly amends its constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

          Term limits are about preventing the accretion of power by individuals and the offices they hold. It’s no panacea but I can tell you as a former lobbyist that one way to reduce cronyism (or your liberal shibboleth “money in politics”) is to make it so the same shitbag twisting your arm for money in exchange for favorable legislation today won’t be around (or at least on the same committee) in a couple of years.

          1. If the founders wanted term limits they would have put them in the constitution.

            1. They also never envisioned such a disgusting display of government intrusion into every aspect of daily life, the financial benefits reaped by being a full-time government employee or the creation of an ad hoc political class. Color me shocked that greater opportunity to exert influence results in greater incidents of the improper use of that influence.

            2. May we use this argument elsewhere? I assume you are saying that, since it isn’t DIRECTLY in the constitution, it isn’t any good?

              “If the founders wanted X they would have put X in the constitution, and, therefore, X ought not be.” Am I undrestanding correctly?

              (I am ignoring, for now, the is/ought fallacy.)

        9. I oppose term limits for presidents too. Unless you think the American people are too immature not to choose their president for themselves.

          Presidents are not elected by popular vote in this country.

    5. Term limits are a solution to a problem this country doesn’t have.

      It’s certainly stitching up a laceration that is knowingly infected.

      Laws need to sunset or otherwise self-annul more commonly if not universally. Getting rid of a shitty politician who puts a bunch of shitty laws on the books, however quickly, does little to get the shitty laws off the books.

  2. I have no idea what I think about term limits as I want people like Paul, Massie, and Amash to be in their chairs (and not someone else/worse) for as long as possible.

    What I do know is that the “Read the Bills Act” is fucking badass.

    1. It’s a good start, but I would like to see a law that requires any congressman voting for a bill to swear under penalty of perjury that they have read the bill, that they understand it in full, and that they believe it to be within the constitutional powers of the federal government. No more of this “pass it to see what’s in it” bullshit from the likes of Pelosi.

      -jcr

      1. I would like to see an aggressive use of 18 USC 242 to prosecute pols….. a man can dream

      2. You do realize that “pass the bill to see what is in it” is all BS for the public. They all know what is in it. They have a huge staff of people and many are lawyers. In addition, all the people who are against it and have their staffs looking at it are communicating with one another. They know every sleazy loop-hole they just don’t want the American people to know.

        The only time the public knows is because somebody like Sessions gets on the Senate floor and tells us that an illegal can still get his citizenship after filing two false passport applications. Things like this are supposed to be kept quiet by mutual agreement in case the Republicans need to sneak some shit through.

        When has Congress ever fixed a bill after then fact once the public has become aware of all the shit in it? That tells you all you need to know about them not understanding what is in a bill.

  3. The war on poverty is 50 years old, and still black unemployment is twice that of white unemployment.

    Clearly the solution is to double, nay, triple down on those policies and programs.

    After all, they were working just fine until Reagan…

    1. Clearly the problem is that white people have too many jobs.

      1. Clearly, if there were only a law about that.

  4. Tony’s freaking out.

  5. Good speech!

  6. 5% growth, a roaring stock market, low unemployment, strong dollar, low fuel prices, and a declining national deficit are signs of drift?!

    I’m not exactly up-to-date on every prediction of doom made by right-wing extremist about the Obama agenda and how it was going to bring about the Era of Beelzebub so I’m looking to you “libertarians” to point me to one– just one– economic prediction by a Republican politician that has turned out to be true over the last six years. Surely, given the market in hysterical bed wetting by conservatives something they’ve said over the doomed Obama administration has come true. Help a comrade out, would ya?

    “Liberal elites fly over my town”

    God. Are right-wing appeals to victimhood ever, ever going to get fucking old? If you want out of a union with us granola eaters in California, rand, some of us out here are more than happy to let you go. Living with you in the same country is like living with a crazy dependent uncle who lives in your house and complains about how you live and how you make your money.

    1. Living with you in the same country is like living with a crazy dependent uncle who lives in your house and complains about how you live and how you make your money.

      So, flyover country is dependent on the coasts? Where do you get your food and fuel, asshole? Your electric power, where does it come from? BTW, flyover country includes inland California and the watersheds from which you drink.

      The reverse is actually true, of course, in that cities are completely dependent upon flyover country for all of their commodities and many of their manufactured goods. You’re just too ignorant to understand.

      It is probably your ignorance of where and how products are sourced and made that allows your silly vision of a socialist utopia. If you knew more, you’d understand that there is nothing idyllic about hard work. Your perspective is rather well illustrated by the capital-dwellers in the Hunger Games who live off the fruits of the hard work of the districts while all the time assuming that they are the sophisticated ones who make their grand life possible.

      You are a parasite and an ingrate to discount the contribution made to your wellbeing by those you dismiss in the heartland of this great country.

      1. Am-sock, what country do you live in that is currently experiencing any of that?
        The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one….*facepalm*

        1. I said: “Your perspective.”

      2. “So, flyover country is dependent on the coasts? ”

        Yep, very much so. Want to look at how much federal dollars we get back here in California from Washington, D.C. Compared to how much we get taxed? And then compare that to Rand Paul’s state?

        http://www.theatlantic.com/bus…..rs/361668/

        1. California was built by federal money during the cold war. It is only recently due to the base closures and loss of defense jobs that California pays more in taxes than it gets from the feds.

          Southern California probably lost 100,000 defense jobs in the 1990s when companies like Hughes Aircraft Company, Litton industries and others pretty much disappeared in California.

        2. http://www.theatlantic.com/bus…..rs/361668/

          They compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia on three metrics: 1) federal spending per capita compared with every dollar paid in federal income taxes; 2) the percentage of a state’s annual revenue that comes from federal funding; and 3) the number of federal employees per capita. The third measure received only half the weight of each of the others in the calculation.

          WTF kind of ‘redistribution’ calculation is this?

          1) OK, kinda-maybe makes sense, decent start.
          2) WTF? So,*ignoring the actual people* a *State* that has very little revenue, most of which comes from the Fed, gets a strike while a *State* that has tons of revenue and collects more from the Fed gets a check mark? Again, WTF?
          3) *Paying attention to actual people* we arbitrarily cut the number in half for reasons undeclared. WTF?

          There are a million and one reasons not to do #3 in any legitimate analysis, several thousand of which suddenly make sense when you see that the analysis comes from WalletHub, a burgeoning/failing social finance company. At least if they had Jimmy Kimmel do the analysis there would’ve been an attempt at humor.

        3. Still, you seem to think that we live on monies from the fed. You have it backwards. There’s a greater density of people paying taxes in the cities–which tend to be “blue.” Of course they pay more taxes per square mile. As for the states receiving more tax money, that has more to do with the power of their representatives. Besides, the correlation is not nearly as strong as you make it out. For example, Hawaii is at the top of the list and it’s not a red state. Furthermore, that whole red state/blue state bit is only about the way that the states voted for president. It’s not some sociological constant.

    2. 5% growth, a roaring stock market

      Someone named “american socialist” should love a roaring stock market.

      1. I’m just looking for an example of something a right-winger has said over the past six years that has come true. Surely there’s got to be something.

    3. God. Are right-wing appeals to victimhood ever, ever going to get fucking old?

      Not as much as left-wing idiocy regarding the people who they have to share this country with them.

      “Over the past fifty years, part of the liberal world’s “messaging” problem has involved the tendency among certain liberals to exacerbate distinctions of class and region?elements of fragmentation which make social progress much harder. It was true in the 1960s, and it’s true again now: A certain type of pseudo-liberal has always loved to mock the (white) rubes who live in red-state America. The pattern is familiar: First, we mock their rube-like ways. Then, we marvel at the fact that these rubes won’t accept our own brilliant views! Over the past fifty years, this class condescension has made it harder to build consensus for certain kinds of progressive ideas.”

      1. “Exacerbate distinctions of class”

        I’m a socialist so you think that “exacerbating distinctions of class” isn’t something socialists should try to do.

        Under obama’s proposals the middle class would pay less in taxes and the rich would pay more. So, since I’m a middle class taxpayer and not a hedge fund manager I’d take that deal. But I only think this way because I think White America is stupid and I’m a snob.

        1. I’m a socialist so you think that “exacerbating distinctions of class” isn’t something socialists should try to do.

          But you go about doing it anyway, while constantly wondering “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” It’s like you don’t realize the rubes might be listening.

          Under obama’s proposals the middle class would pay less in taxes and the rich would pay more.

          That’s mighty white of him considering that the middle class’s labor force participation rate has gone through the floor the last six years. Of course, the tax rates won’t have much effect on the economy considering historical revenue-to-GDP rates. But you’d know that if you could read an OMB chart.

    4. How on earth you consider the unemployment rate “low” or the dollar “strong” is beyond me. And I can give fuck-all about a “declining national deficit” when your savior has tacked on nearly $8 trillion in debt. It’s like crowing your “success” that the Titanic is sinking just a bit slower. Maybe you should take a gander at the figures for median household income as well.

      1. Hi, so what was the deficit that Obama inherited from bush again? Do you think trillion dollar deficits disappear magically over a one year period?

        1. And just how much did your boy wonder add to that inherited deficit as well as to the national debt?

        2. Bush did add about a trillion to the debt, but Obama has added several times that much and is not yet finished.

        3. It’s year six genius.

    5. Unemployment isn’t low. I am not stupid enough to blame the economy on Obama but he doesn’t get any credit either. The economy after a crash always gets better at some time. It is how you measure it that counts and our measurements are so full of shit these days it isn’t easy to know what is going on.

      We have more people on welfare. What is good about that? The jobs for most people won’t allow them to pay the bills, what is good about that? Obama didn’t cause these problems but he hasn’t done anything to fix them because he is doing the bidding of the 1%ers just like everybody since Carter at least.

  7. All of the above in spite of O’bumbles, you ignorant slut.

    Light a candle for the 100 million dead caused by your heroes, ass.

  8. I didn’t get through the last five minutes because I moved on to play “I’m Proud to be An American”. What was the theme? More victimization from the citizens of Panem or how we just need to let Hank Rearden lay his own goddamn steel free of regulatory oppression. Just summarize for me…

    We’re sure he actually wrote this speech and didn’t crib it? Because I’ve heard there was a problem with this before. I mean, really, at this point would his cult supporters even give a shit if he just plagiarized it and it turned out it was a speech from some Nazi? My guess is no.

    1. Yeah, remember when Rand almost got expelled from law school for plagiarism, or the time he plagiarized his own life story?!

      Oh wait, that was the guy you voted for VP…

  9. What about increasing requrirements for every elected term? Like a Handicap in Golf.

    Each term you are elected you are automaticaly reduced that number of years off your percentage of the vote. So, after 1 term in the house, you have to beat your opponent by more than 2%. One year in the senate and you have to wn by more than 6%.

    Thus, a senator can be continually elected, theoretically, but they have to garner more and more support each election.

    This is not a good idea. But I wanted to throw it out there. Anybody else have any really bad ideas?

    1. No party labels on ballots. Only individual names. You want to vote team X, better memorize who their candidates are.

  10. He has a noticeable tan. The areas around his eyes are whiter than the rest of his eyes.

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